I am tasked with arranging the LaTeX files for a journal. Right now, here is the LaTeX code (not mine, so I don't really know how to work around this). The first page of every paper has a "special header" and the rest has the normal fancy header.

As I understand it, the current "special header" is part of the body of the document. I would like to ask if there is some way to make the "special header" really part of the header environment. How do I go about this?

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\begin{document}

\thispagestyle{empty}
\pagestyle{fancy}
\fancyfoot{}
\title{}
\author{}
\date{}
\maketitle
%\setcounter{page}{1}

\vspace{-1.7in}
\hrule
\vspace{0.02in}
{\sf \noindent{\small JOURNAL NAME \hfill OTHER STUFF}\\
\vspace{-.2in}\\
\noindent{\small  ISSN \ 0115-xxxx\hfill Vol. xx  No. x (xxx) pp.
1-13}}

\vspace{0.01in}
\hrule

\end{document}

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Welcome to TeX.SE! To help people help you, it is always a good idea to post compilable code, that is, a complete document starting at \documentclass{} and ending at \end{document}. I have done this for you this time :) – Vivi Dec 20 '12 at 6:12
I'm not exactly sure, if this is what you want, but you could define a special header in the preample, by simply using \fancypagestyle{somename} and then set \thispagestyle{somename} where you want the pagestyle to be different. – xfoo Dec 29 '12 at 7:57